Mines Ministry is working on an action plan to raise the sector's contribution to India's GDP from 2.3 per cent to 3.3 per cent by 2019. "As our Minister (Piyush Goyal) has said on increasing the share of the mining sector in India's GDP by 1 per cent in the next 2-3 years, we are working on an action plan over this," Mines Secretary Balvinder Kumar told reporters. He said this on the sidelines on an event by Council of Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) here.
While taking charge of Mines Ministry earlier this month, Goyal had said: "We will work on a growth of 30-35 per cent annually in terms of the volume of minerals mined, which would help us in increasing mining's share in GDP by 1 per cent in 2-3 years." To achieve this target, the Secretary said that states have initiated the auction process by issuing the notices inviting tenders (NITs) for 33 blocks containing minerals such as gold, diamond, iron ore, limestone, etc. "By the end of this fiscal, we expect the states will be able to auction 70-80 mines," he added.
Besides, there are 70-80 mines, where operations have not started due to environment and forest clearance. The Ministry is in talks with the Environment Ministry to push for their case, Kumar said.
The work on aerial survey of over 8 lakh sq km of obvious geological potential (OGP) area is in the works.
"We have hired a consultant and we are in the process of preparing the process for hiring a global agency to do the survey. The survey work is expected to start by January 2017," Kumar said.
On offshore mining, he said the ministry has identified 50-60 blocks of 7 minutes each. "Besides, the offshore mining rules will come out in about 3 months. After this these blocks will be auctioned," he added.
All these efforts will add up to increase India's mining potential and will in turn help the sector increase its contribution in the country's GDP, Kumar noted.